DIY: Paper Lanterns

diy pretty paper lanterns

Today’s DIY is such an easy way to add sophisticated style into your outdoor wedding. I’ve always been a fan of paper lanterns, but really loving this idea sent over from our DIY contributor Christy of One Handspun Day for embellished paper lanterns! So pretty right? Let’s find out how to make them! :)

DIY Lantern - Materials Labeled

• Paper lanterns (you can find them online here)
• Fabric scraps
• Acrylic Paint
• Mod Podge
• Paint Brushes
• Ribbons, lace, or other trimmings


Step One: Paint your paper lantern
Prepare your paper lantern by expanding it into a globe shape using the wire insert and paint it using acrylic paints. Take care not to press too hard with the paintbrush or to use paint that is too watered down because it may tear the tissue of your lantern. I used the horizontal wires as guidelines to paint blocks of color and stripes on my lanterns, but anything goes so feel free to splatter and swirl to your heart’s content! If you are feeling especially adventurous you could even try painting the inside so it shows through to the outside.

painted lantern

Step Two: Add your fabric pieces
Cut your fabric into pieces that you would like to add to your lantern. I had fabric with a rose pattern that was left over from another project so I used that and cut out the individual flower designs. There were some pretty little illustration designs on the fabric that seemed jealous of my attention to the roses, so I cut those out as well. If your fabric is more ‘abstract’ you could cut the fabric into shapes such as polka dots, stripes or even chevron (how cute would that be?!). You can also use paper for this step, but it works best with a very thin tissue-like paper otherwise the paper tends to be too stiff and will stand away from the surface of your paper lantern.

Once you have everything cut out, coat the back of each piece with mod podge (or glue) and press it gently onto your lantern. You may also want to add a thin coat of mod podge over the front of each piece to keep all of the edges pressed nicely against the lantern. Keep gluing until all of your fabric pieces have a home on your lanterns or until all of your fingers are glued together.

Step Three: Embellish and trim
The final step is to add a tassel and other embellishments. Tie ribbons and lace to the bottom of your lantern so the wind has something to dance with. I tied ribbons directly onto the wire frame, but you could also suspend them farther down by tying them to fishing line. Add a single strand of small silk flowers if you are feeling romantic. If you are feeling fancy, glue a strip of sequins around your lantern or sprinkle lines of glue with glitter. Or some colored beads or tiny trinkets. I can practically hear my lanterns begging for a little monogram to dangle amongst their pretty lace tassels. Allow your fingers to thread little treasures onto your lanterns until that moment when you look at them and feel yourself smile… then you are done!


Hang your pretty lanterns from wide grosgrain ribbons, fishing line or white twinkle lights – they are not so particular about what they are paired with, so long as they can twirl and hang prettily for all to admire.

DIY Lantern - Finished

painted lanterns DIY

Thanks so much Christy!

DIY created by Christy of One Handspun Day exclusively for Green Wedding Shoes


Interested in advertising with us?

for our current rates!


  1. Simply beautiful. Loved the way the lanterns turned out Christy.

  2. These are so beautiful, what a gorgeous idea!! Definitely going to give this a try!

  3. This is so pretty! At first I thought that the flower was painted on there, didn’t realize it was fabric from the pictures. Can’t wait to try it out.

  4. LOL Love the lanterns. But, even more, love the comment “keep glueing until all your fabric pieces have a home or until all your fingers are glued together”.

    Charming — the lanterns, AND the writing!

  5. I’m so going to do this…for my own party!

  6. Thank you so much for telling how to make these beautiful paper lanterns. Will surely try to make one as I love lanterns too.

  7. Merci beaucoup pour ce DIY ! Je vais de ce pas le mettre en pratique pour décorer mon salon !
    Thank you so much ! I’ll try it !

  8. What a fabulous idea! So simple, but what an amazing, gorgeous result!

  9. I so like the lantern and I hope it is a lantern that floats.

  10. I love it. And I love the fabric you used – do you happen to remember who makes it/what it’s called?

  11. Lovely tutorial! The original Mod Podge formula is not water proof so if you get addicted to decoupage, and want to do a similar project that will be outside (like a sign or banner that may get rained on) be sure to get their outdoor Mod Podge formula. They also sell formulas that are acid free for paper as well as those with a matte, gloss or sparkle finish.

  12. Laura – I’m glad you love it! So sorry, but I do not know the name of the fabric. If it helps, I believe I purchased it at JoAnn’s Fabric just over a year ago.

  13. AWESOME you did a fabulous job on these! Love the roses, you pay a great attention to detail, precise cutting, etc. Just wonderful!

  14. That fabric is so pretty. I love the pretty roses :)

  15. I love this and want to create some for my patio! Great idea.

  16. This is so cute and simple! I want to make a couple to sell now :)

  17. but Christy you wont be able to fold the lamp in case i need to send it to someone through package right ??

  18. Can you use water colors to paint on the lanterns, or water based acrylics ?

  19. Such a pretty idea. Thanks so much for passing it on.

  20. your tutorials are ever so marvellous!!! i would love to try this!

    such loveliness,

  21. These are beautiful. Love to make these one day.

  22. I love the result, very romantic ! I’m going to share your post on my french blog ! ;-)


  1. […] cost and impactful. This is a great tutorial and very flexible for whatever your event theme from Green Wedding Shoes. Tweet This entry was posted in Wedding inspiration by Christina. Bookmark the […]

  2. […] These pretty DIY paper lanterns […]

  3. […] absolutely a-DORE these paper lanterns, hand embellished by the geniuses at Green Wedding Shoes. So […]

  4. […] Centerpieces – From DIY Weddings MagazineFancy Bridal Shoe Clips – From One Lovely DayDIY Paper Lanterns – From Green Wedding Shoeschalkboard Table Numbers – From Polka Dot MadeHow to craft a Glassine Envelope – From […]

  5. […] DIY idea of the day goes to these pretty paper lanterns featured on Green Wedding Shoes by Christy of One Handspun Day. They’re just ordinary white paper lanterns that have been […]

  6. […] thought the paper lanterns in Number 3 looked pretty cool. They may not survive outdoors at an Irish wedding (the weather here has been […]

  7. […] case you have missed my other DIYs over on Green Wedding Shoes, you can pop on over and see them here and here… and more handspun lovelies will be making their debut every […]

  8. […] template from the internet but rather trying to combine a couple of techniques I had seen on line. (Green Wedding Shoes), […]

  9. […] Paper lanterns at Green Wedding Shoes /* […]

  10. […] Flower arrangement – Design Sponge; Paper Peony – Etsy; Paper Lantern Tutorial – Green Wedding Shoes; Peony Cake – Two Stews; Peony Photo – Mrs. Amber […]

  11. […] :: Green Wedding Shoes  ♥  Mini Lanterns with Twinkle Lights and Twigs :: Lark Photography via Weddings by […]

  12. […] The complete tutorial with self-explanatory pictures accompanying the step by step instructions are easy to follow. We wish you good luck making those lanterns, they will really give your outdoor wedding the wow factor. Head on over to the tutorial, you can find it here: […]

  13. […] we came across this simple yet darling DIY project on green wedding shoes, we just had to share!  These paper lanterns are not only incredibly easy to create, but they add […]

  14. […] Check out the full DIY tutorial HERE […]


Email me when there are new comments on this post. You can also subscribe without commenting.

GWS is a creative and supportive community of wedding fans and vendors. As such, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain profanity, are distasteful, personally attack individuals or do not contribute to the goals of our community.

You may not love every detail of every event, but please remember that the couples who share their weddings on GWS are real people and their wedding is a special day, so please be nice.